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mesaSteeler
09-23-2010, 12:33 AM
Reed getting his kicks into the end zone

By Mark Kaboly
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jeff Reed was the worst in the NFL a year ago when it came to touchbacks. Of his 81 kickoffs, Reed was credited with only three touchbacks.

Through the first two games of this season, Reed has kicked off 10 times, and two of the kicks have been touchbacks.

There is a pretty good reason for the extra power in Reed's right leg.

Two weeks ago, he decided to change his kickoff steps that have resulted in some discomfort but a lot more power.

"I am attacking the ball more," Reed said. "I still take the six-step approach, but I have scooted back a little bit with my initial starting point."

Reed never has been a standout kickoff specialist. Over his nine-year career, he has just 44 touchbacks in 118 games, or about an average of six a season. His high mark was in 2007, when he had 10, but Reed's well above that average this year.

"I am not quite comfortable, but I am getting there," he said. "I feel a little inconsistent with it. The kicks look good, but I don't quite feel right."

Despite the touchbacks, Reed's kicks are averaging about three yards short of the end zone.

"I am attacking the ball more, and what comes with that sometimes is that you try too hard and miss-hit a couple," Reed said. "I am capable of hitting a touchback. You have to hit the ball perfect. I am not a guy who if I miss-hit, it's going to go eight yards deep."

Quotable

"I like the heat. I welcome the heat. It keeps you warm. My quick-twitch muscles can function a little better. Maybe I won't pull nothing,"

óCasey Hampton, the Steelers' 325-pound nose tackle, on the forecasted high heat for Tampa on Sunday.

Digits

21: Quarterback hurries/pressures the Steelers have recorded in two games.

0: Punts Daniel Sepulveda has placed inside the 20-yard line this year.

Mark Kaboly can be reached at mkaboly@dailynewsemail.com or 412-664-9161.

ZoneBlitzer
09-23-2010, 12:47 AM
This, to me, is really impressive. Personally I was shocked to see Reed's kickoffs land in the endzone. I always wondered if he could somehow work on it some more and sure enough he has. It helps out the special teams tremendously when you can hit it out for a touchback. Kudos to Reed for being a pro and working on his craft.

LVSteelersfan
09-23-2010, 10:09 AM
It's amazing what competition does sometimes. When they threatened to have Sepulveda take over kickoff duties, I think Reed was seeing the writing on the wall to either shape up or he would be on the way out by next year. All he has to do is kick the damn ball. I never understood why it was so hard for him to try to improve his craft. He has had some of the worst kickoffs I have ever seen in the past couple years. It looks like he took it to heart and it will make the Steelers all that much better in the long run with field position. All he has to do is keep his nose clean, perform his kickoff duties by getting the ball inside the 10 yard line, and hit his field goals at the same pace and I will not rag on him again. Keep up the good work because we need all the help we can get with the Oline in shambles.

truesteelerfan
09-23-2010, 02:33 PM
I too am glad to see his kickoffs go further....maybe he really does want to sign a long term deal with us after this season...that is the only part of his game I didn't care for...and kudos for him for making the adjustment....question is...why didn't this happen years ago?

steeltheone
09-23-2010, 09:27 PM
It's a big handicap not getting touch backs.

MikeHaullace
09-23-2010, 09:29 PM
I think the extra effort and adjustment is too little too late.

Jeff Reed will be playing for someone else next season.

huntingteacher
09-23-2010, 10:19 PM
I bet his voice is an octive higher, he's more moody, and he carries around some "vitamins" he got in Bermuda to get the extra yards the year before he becomes a free agent!